Avoid high water bills by tracing leaks quickly

Tracing leaks in 4 steps

Step 1: Track your water consumption
On the annual consumption bill, you will find an overview of your average annual consumption for the past 3 years in convenient bars. To find out whether your consumption is normal, you can compare it with the average water consumption in Flanders:
Family of Annual water consumption
1 person 39 m³
2 people 66 m³
3 people 94 m³
4 people 115 m³
5 people 137 m³

However, you do not have to wait for the annual consumption bill to monitor your consumption: make a note of your meter reading every month to monitor your consumption. Is your consumption considerably higher than the average, or do you notice a sudden rise? If so, there may be a leak somewhere. In this way you can take immediate action and significantly reduce the additional consumption on your bill.

Step 2: Check for leaks using your water meter
Note the meter reading just before a period with no water consumption, for example before you go to bed. Turn off all appliances that consume water (such as the dishwasher and water softener) and do not flush your toilet (on mains water). In the morning, check the meter reading again. Pay particular attention to the digits after the comma. Is there a difference between the two meter readings? If so, there is probably a leak somewhere.

How do you read the water meter?

You can detect larger leaks when you notice the number in your meter reading move without water being consumed anywhere.
Step 3: Trace the leak yourself or call in a plumber
A leaking toilet often makes a hissing sound and you can try to detect it yourself, by hanging a piece of toilet paper under the rim, for example. A tap that does not shut off properly will continue to drip. More difficult are underground leaks, for example, a pipe to the garden house or the outdoor tap.

Does your water meter indicate a leak, but you cannot immediately find it yourself?

If so, get a plumbing installer or leak detection company in as soon as possible to locate and repair the leak.

Not possible to repair the leak immediately?

Disconnect the faulty part or turn off the main valve when you do not need water. This will prevent further loss.
Step 4: Schedule a free check-up visit by Farys
What is a meter reading and how do you arrange one?

The 5 most common causes of water loss

  1. Continuously running or leaky toilet
  2. Faulty safety valve of boiler or instantaneous water heater
  3. Faulty water softener, causing constant flushing
  4. Faulty cistern refill system causing unnecessary refilling with mains water
  5. Underground leak in the pipes.

Here’s how to prevent leaks

  • Replace the valve seat or rubber washer on taps when it is worn out. Replace the entire tap when the housing also shows wear. 
  • Check your toilet’s flushing system regularly.
    • For an upright model: check the float in the tank and the seal of the flapper.
    • For a suspended toilet: check whether the pushbutton sticks.
  • Use caution with a defective safety valve of a boiler or heating device.
  • Regularly check devices with automatic flushing or refilling systems, such as your rainwater system or water softener.
  • Ensure separate pipe systems: the drinking water pipe must never be connected to your rainwater system or private water supply (second circuit water).
  • Will you be away for a long time or is the property vacant? If so, turn off the main valve completely.
  • In case of frost, to be safe, shut off outdoor taps.

Not found what you were looking for?

Minor leak, major consequences

  • A leaking tap can easily consume 4 litres of water per hour or 35,000 litres per year.
  • A malfunctioning toilet flushing system can cause you to lose 25 litres per hour or 219,000 litres of water per year.